More family fun in Lafayette, Louisiana…

After we visited Vermilionville, we decided to stop just up the street at the Jean Lafitte Acadian Cultural Center (National Historic Park).   Vaughn liked it right off because (get ready for a rabbit trail)…  We ate lunch after we had finished touring Vermilionville, and since we hadn’t brought toothbrushes, the gum was handed around as we were unloading to go into the visitor’s center.  Vaughn is not a fan of gum, and he hates the kinds the kids and I like – smelly bubble gum, or watermelon, or tropical twist, even chocolate chip mint…  😀  On the way up the ramped sidewalk to the main visitor’s center door, Vaughn was making his usual yucked-out looks while we blew fragrant breaths his way.
He had the last laugh though when we got to the front door; there, in big, bold letters, was a sign proclaiming no smoking, eating, drinking, and NO GUM CHEWING!  He was laughing so hard he couldn’t breathe, but it really was not nearly as funny as Vaughn made it out to be!  In fact, it wasn’t funny at all – we had to spit out our new, fragrant pieces of gum, still full of flavor and artificial sweeteners – not even broke in yet.  Then, for the next 45 minutes (the entire time we were at the park), every time that hubby of mine would catch my eye, he would gloat with smug looks and goofy grins.
Just thinking about it makes me want to break out the smelliest gum we have…  😉

This stop probably is nice if you come at the right time, but we were sorely disappointed in the Lafayette branch of the Jean Lafitte NHP (there are 6 separate locations that encompass the Jean Lafitte park).  There was one room that is mostly just old photos – some old enough to be interesting, some just old enough to be dated.

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The rangers weren’t engaging, tho they answered our questions, and the movie was voted the second worst NP movie we have ever seen (second only to Saguaro).  Then, to top it all off, there was no Jr. Ranger program!  They had not kept copies of their old booklet (I guess) as they transition to a new one (most parks make simple in-house copies of the previous booklets), and as I asked questions, it was revealed that they hadn’t even started on a new booklet, and didn’t know when they would as they are ‘short staffed’.
The 35 min film (shown every hour, on the hour, from 9 to 3, in case you want to be tortured yourself) seemed to have some connection to Longfellow’s poem Evangeline: A tale of Acadie; it was bizarre, and created more confusion than it answered questions.  I think it was meant to help us understand how the Acadians came to be here, but without the proper background info, it was not helpful at all.  And through the whole film there was this ghostly whispered voice that was supposed to be ‘Acadia’ (a French area in Canada).  I’m telling ya, it was weird.  and then no Jr. Ranger program to boot?  We had to find another stop on the way home to make up for it! LOL!

So, since we left Jean Lafitte much earlier than planned, we had time to stop and check out the Children’s Museum of Acadiana…

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The museum is a single level facility, but there is lots for the kids to do!  Winn-Dixie sponsors a (pretend) grocery store in the museum…

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That the girls just loved!  They had little carts, and you could take the (empty) packages off the shelf, and end up at one of the four registers to pay for their groceries.

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The girls spent a large part of their time in the Winn-Dixie grocery store!
Until they saw what was next door…

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A cute little restaurant where everything was pint sized – from the tables and chairs, to the menus and kitchen equipment.DSC_0239_237

The big boys came into the museum also (sitting in the van for an hour can get very boring), and they spent their time between two different areas…the first being the mock television station.  There was a camera that would project the image to the TV in the room, but it would also play out on the main museum floor on a TV they had out there.  The kids enjoyed being anchormen(women), until it got political, and there was a murder in the station, and one of them had to flee because their picture had been sent all over the world since it happened on national tv… (if you have boys you understand)… (and we were the only ones there, so no other little children were scarred in the filming…  😉 )DSC_0221_219

but the area that held the kids’ interest the longest, was the bubble making…

DSC_0217_215The museum had multiple tables with built-in basins filled with bubble solution, and all shapes of oversized bubble wands.   The kids played in here off and on for our hour long visit.  It was the place they always came back to.

The Children’s Museum of Acadiana was a fun stop for the kids, and a great wrap-up for a day in Lafayette!
We’ve really been loving our time in Louisiana, and can’t believe that we haven’t slowed down and explored before.  Everyone is so hospitable, and we are finding so many family friendly things to do!  <3

Lilla Rose

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